It is always a good idea to have an estate plan even if you are not sure if you have “enough” assets or think things should be pretty simple. Here are the top three reasons to create an estate plan as discussed by one of Morneau Law’s estate planning lawyers.
1. Determine your legacy:
Who do you want to decide your legacy? You may choose to follow in the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln, Chief Justice Warren Burger, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Pablo Picasso, and Prince (who all died without an Estate Plan), allowing the Government’s intestacy rules to determine how your assets pass after you die. The intestacy rules are the generic provisions that our legislature has decided for how assets pass after you die if you don’t have a Will. For many, the rules of intestacy fit their personal goals, but you might be surprised to learn that if you die without a Will, your spouse may only be entitled to a portion of your assets!
For those of us who want to ensure that our assets pass the way we want them to—whether that be to our spouse, to our children, to charities near and dear, or to friends—a Will or Trust will provide that assurance. An individualized Estate Plan also ensures that your pets are provided for the way you want them to be. Whatever your goals are, the attorneys at Morneau Law are here to help you create a plan that meets your needs.
2. Make the administration of your assets easier for your loved ones after you pass:
When you die, all assets in your individual name and without beneficiaries are inaccessible to your loved ones. Your agents under Powers of Attorney cannot access your bank accounts to pay your mortgage, your utilities, or funeral expenses without court permission. In order to settle your estate, someone will need to petition the Court for a Certificate of Appointment as Administrator or Executor. This process can be time-consuming, confusing, financially burdensome, and stressful. While grieving, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is whether they have filed the correct Court form or whether they will be able to pay your utility bills. By creating a Trust, you can ensure that your Trustee can access everything they need to after you pass without the Court’s involvement. Your Trustee will be able to take care of your debts, manage your accounts, and distribute your assets according to your wishes.
3. Make your wishes known for who will care for your minor children in your stead:
When you die, New Hampshire law provides that your children’s living parent will become sole guardian. However, if you and your children’s co-parent die simultaneously, or that individual predeceases you, the Court will be called on to decide who should raise your children. By creating a Will, you can provide guidance to the Court as to who you would want to raise your children if you are unable to do so.
At Morneau Law, our estate planning team of attorneys and paralegals are highly-experienced in creating unique plans to suit your needs. Whether you need just a simple Will, or more complex Trust, we will be able to help you get a plan in place so that you and your family are protected. Call us today: 603-943-5647 or online here.